KARACHI: Based on the format of twenty20 cricket, football fans in Lyari have invented their own version of football that has generated a following of thousands.
A big tournament is being organized, in which 64 teams will participate and the winners will be awarded 36-gram gold medals.
This version of football named D’goal is the invention of the Lyarites, where a team of only four players, play on a ground measuring 40 square yards.
Without any support from the government or the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), the football aficionados in Lyari have organized the extravaganza, which attracts thousands of spectators. This tournament is called Sardar Abdur Rehman Baloch D’goal Tournament.
Organizer Imran Aziz told PPI that this tournament is organized every year from the first of Ramzan. He added that more than 50 other tournaments on a smaller scale are simultaneously played in Lyari.
He explained that this version of the game has two halves – each of 20 minutes, with a five-minute break. It is based on the passing technique, which is also called ground game.
Lyarities are diehard fans of Brazil so they try to emulate the Brazilian football team, he said.
Chief Organizer of the tournament Ustad Nasir Baloch revealed such tournaments have been regularly held here for more than last 16 year. He said many national and departmental players of football in Pakistan have reached on their current position after learning the basics of the game from D’goal.
He said due to shortage of football grounds in Lyari this kind of game has become very popular as it can be played in a smaller space. Young football players of Lyari show off their skills and talents every year at the tournament.
Nasir Baloch said different teams across the city comprising national, departmental and local players are participating in the big sports event of Lyari.
He said that it was worth mentioning that all the D’goal tournaments are being supervised by the Peoples Aman Committee, Lyari.
Sameen Ibrahim, football coach of UC-10 told PPI that there is a great charm of football in Pakistan, especially in Lyari but unfortunately the bureaucracy is least interested promoting football in our country.
He said government should provide proper facilities and permanent jobs to the football players, who have the ability to represent Pakistan at international level.
Mohammad Ismail, football coach of UC-11 said President PPF Saleh Mohammad Hayat has ensured President of the Peoples Aman Committee Lyari, Shahid Rehman, that all facilities would be given to football players of Lyari at UC level.
He said due to lack of proper facilities our talented football players could not perform at local and international events. If the government supports this sport it could be promoted at a higher level, he said.
Ismail said the football federation could not uplift the game of football unless it shuns internal politics.
Zubair Baloch, another organizer of a youth tournament said by organizing such tournaments, the children of Lyari could be saved from bad environment.
He requested the government to promote the game of regular football and D’goal by taking some proper steps. – PPI